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Zimbabweans Commend South Africa for Holding 'Free, Fair Election'

  • Benedict Nhlapho

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu casts his vote during the local government elections in Milnerton, Cape Town, South Africa, Aug. 3, 2016.

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu casts his vote during the local government elections in Milnerton, Cape Town, South Africa, Aug. 3, 2016.

The Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa says the country 5th democratic municipal election held on Wednesday was smooth and peaceful despite a few hiccups.

Two hundred and four parties contested the election in which over 26 million people were registered to vote. Zimbabweans living in South Africa have applauded South Africa for holding what they have described as a truly democratic election.

Voters from different political parties chatted and laughed as they stood in long winding queues that started forming as early as 7 o’clock in the morning in a bid to have a say in the country’s governance through their vote.

A woman, left, walks near an African National Congress, ANC, political poster fixed on a toilet door, that calls South Africans to vote during municipal elections in the township of Khayelitsha on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa, Tuesday, Aug. 1,

A woman, left, walks near an African National Congress, ANC, political poster fixed on a toilet door, that calls South Africans to vote during municipal elections in the township of Khayelitsha on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa, Tuesday, Aug. 1,

Twenty nine year Old Xolelwa Besu, who voted at Hope Church in Auckland Park, Johannesburg, made it clear she wants the ruling African National Congress to remain in control of the country’s municipalities.

"I woke up at like 6 o’clock in the morning, so I am excited. I want to say tomorrow that this is my leader because I’ put them there not the country put him there."

But others like Falken Fedrick, who voted at Melpark Primary School in Johannesburg, was also clear that he wants the ANC out and the Democratic Alliance in control of the nation.

"I’m very excited. I hope my vote counts. I want to see the ruling party out. I want everything to change."

And the country’s Independent Electoral Commission or I-E-C says the fact that party supporters voted freely and could easily express themselves afterwards, is an indication that the elections were free.

Glen Mashinini, chairperson of the IEC says this is the way elections should be conducted in the country.

South Africans talking about the elections, Aug. 3, 2016

South Africans talking about the elections, Aug. 3, 2016

Many voting stations reported a strong turnout from early in the day with many people already waiting to cast their votes early in the morning.

There were, however, a number of problems encountered. These included angry voters preventing election officials from conducting elections in some places, some stations failing to open on time, ballot boxes arriving late and some employers not allowing their employees to vote.

Most Zimbabweans have commended South Africa for a peaceful election. One of them, Lizwe Mabhena, had this advice to those Zimbabweans who have given up to vote.

"This is the day to claim what the you need, so if you sit down and then at the end you say no I can’t do that because, they can’t here, you voice is to vote."

And many say Zimbabwe should learn from South Africa so as to conduct free and fair election in 2018.

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